Summary: This sermon discusses the need for Jesus to be the center of our lives, and how we should deal with tempatations.

Tempted to be in the Spotlight

Heb 2:17-18, Mat 4:1-3, 4 , 5-6, 7, 8-9, 10, 1 Cor 10:13, Mat 4:11, Jam 4:7, Heb 2:18

August 9, 2004

I. In plays the leading actors are always at center stage and supporting actors are usually to the side.

A. The best way for a supporting actor to get in trouble is to try to hug center stage.

B. The same thing is true with Christians if we try to hug center stage we get ourselves in trouble.

C. We’re not the star! Jesus is the star and He has to be the center of all that we do.

D. We all struggle with our own temptations and it is important that we realize what temptation is if we are going to learn how to deal with it.

1. The simplest definition of temptation is, that it is the attempt by satan to get us to be the center of our own lives. Let me say that again temptation is an attempt by satan to get us to be the center of our own lives.

2. Temptation is our attempt to misuse the power that we have been given by God to make choices.

3. When we give in to temptation we attempt try to play God.

E. Think about the temptations that you struggle with, every one involves side stepping God’s laws for what seems like a quicker or easier way to get what we want.

1. The first commandment says " You shall have no other God’s before me,"

2. The other commandments are detailed instructions to show us how to keep from breaking that first spiritual law.

3. We can easily make a false God out of controlling our use of money, sex, family, possessions, and other people.

4. Sin is our attempt to be in control of our own lives, or the lives of others.

F. Temptation is satan’s attempt to get us to stand at center stage with all the spot lights on us and sing "I’ll do it my way".

1. Temptation tries to get us to line up other people and things to support our self centered performance.

II. Satan will try to make us think that we have to hug center stage because he knows the result.

A. For human beings center stage is where the most stress is.

B. When we try to be the center of our lives we put ourselves in a place to have our lives surrounded by loose ends that we can’t get a grip on.

C. We’re not equipped to handle that kind of pressure!

D. How would you like to be put on a Broadway stage to play the leading role in a major play, with no training and knowledge of what the script was?

1. We would all be terrified, and they would have to post guards to keep us out there.

2. So why do we try to stand at center stage of our lives when we have no ability to be there and no idea of where we are going or what is coming next.

E. The temptation to try to get and hold control is nothing more than satan’s distraction to keep us from fulfilling our main purpose in being. Which is to glorify God.

1. And all temptation is nothing more than an attempt to get us to try to be the one in control.

2. If you were tempted to steal, it is nothing more that an attempt to get you to be in control of what you have been given by God instead of letting God be in control.

3. If you were tempted to commit adultery or have sex before marriage it is nothing more that an attempt to be in control and side step God’s plan for life.

4. If you were tempted to lie, cheat or short cut something to get ahead in business it is nothing more that an attempt to get you to take control and shorten God’s plan for your success in life.

5. The same thing can be applied to every sin and every crime committed.

III. The person that wrote Hebrews knew how temptation has to be dealt with.

A. Jesus has been through every temptation that we face in some form.

B. He can understand us and give us what we need to overcome every temptation that we will face in life.

C. Hebrews 2:17-18 gives us some insight into the help that is available to us.

(Heb 2:17-18 NIV) For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

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